by Chris MaGee
Once again Toronto's Reel Asian International Film Festival brought some of the best in independent Asian cinema to the city for five consecutive days, and this year saw a strong showing for Japanese filmmakers. Not only was there the mini-retrospective of Hiroyuki Tanaka, a.k.a. Sabu's films with "Monday" and "The Blessing Bell", but Satoshi Miki's "Adrift in Tokyo" closed the fest this past Sunday.
Prior to the screening the awards for the 12th Annual Reel Asian Festival were handed out and two Japanese-Canadian filmmakers were honoured for their short films. Calgary-born Randall Lloyd Okita took home the Centennial College @ Wallace Studios Most Innovative Film Production Award for his 2007 5-minute short "Machine with a Wishbone", and Nagano-born/ Vancouver-based Asa Mori won the AnimAsian Award for her 2008 4-minute short "Up the Rabbit Hole" (above).
Congratulations to both Okita and Mori, and here's looking forward to seeing what Reel Asian has in store for us in 2009!